March 29th was a day full of Eco activities on Koh Tao. We are used to give workshop for kids, but this time was different. We had a group of 30 kids from the age of 4 till 12 years all at the same time. Vera played various games with them to learn them more about ocean life. They learned about the tides, how the moon is pulling the water. Then they had to run from the low-tide to the high-tide line and even as far as a super high tide or more relevant to the clock we live with on Koh Tao, the full moon.
The kids learned that coral reefs provide shelter and a food source for marine life, and then they played fishes who had to run away from a shark or quickly hide in the coral reef. They learned what a coral is and we all moved like the tentacles of the polyp to catch plankton.
Also they learned what an artificial reef needs. They worked together creating their own artificial reefs with home made play dough. They created the most beautiful shelters for fishes. They enjoyed the Eco Day very much. One of the kids even wanted the recipe of our home made play dough.
During the kids program the adults followed different presentations. Peter told the DMT’s (Dive Masters in Training) about pollution. What are the main sources of pollution, how does it end up in the ocean, what are the consequences and what can we do about it?
Leslie had an interesting presentation about turtles. Which different turtles are there, how to recognize them. At New Heaven they have a turtle head start program. They raise small turtles in a safe environment and after some time they release them into the ocean. By doing this, the turtle have a higher survival rate.
Did you know that you can recognize individual turtles by there lines on there face? Like you can distinguish individual whale sharks? There is a monitoring program for the turtles around Koh Tao. If you see a turtle, take a good picture of it, if possible from both sides. Check out Koh Tao Turtles for more lectures about turtles and submit your turtle pictures for ongoing monitoring.
Frank told a story about the importance of coral reefs, the necessity to take action and creating artificial reefs.
In the afternoon various teams went to clean the beaches, divers and snorkellers went out to clean the reefs and we took a team of divers to the CoralGarden to deploy an artificial reef statue under water. The deployment of the flower went smooth and enormously fast because of the great teamwork between the divers!
Thank you Get Involved Koh Tao and Roctopus Dive for organizing this EcoDay, Siam Scuba Dive Center for offering the boat to deploy the artificial reef. Thank you Tiago for the sophisticated recipe for play dough, and all the volunteers that helped this day.
Pictures with logo are made by Michael S. South